Living With Dyspraxia: Life in the Kitchen

I currently work in a kitchen as a chef. Some days by the end of my shift my chef jacket looks like a work of art that Picasso might’ve created.

I absolutely love being in the kitchen and getting to create different dishes.

I also happen to have Dyspraxia, otherwise known as developmental coordination disorder, DCD. Dyspraxia is a neurological disorder which affects a persons ability to plan and process motor skills. Symptoms of Dyspraxia range anywhere from poor balance, poor posture, poor hand-eye coordination and clumsiness. Dyspraxia is often mis-diagnosed as a lot of symptoms run hand in hand with ADHD, OCD or even Aspergers.

Living with Dyspraxia can present all sorts of challenges in the day to day life. What may appear simple to someone without Dyspraxia may seem like a mountain of a task to someone who may have Dyspraxia.

When I’m in the kitchen I find it draining, and exhausting. Especially since I’m also extremely introverted. Yet, at the same time I’m great at it.

One of the struggles of having Dyspraxia is struggling with time management. I’ll often try knocking things out at once or jumping ahead. I can’t really do this as a line chef. One thing that helps me keep track of time is by setting timers. Setting timers helps me to better manage my time and I’m less likely to jump from order to order and be distracted.

There are times when it can be really stressful in the kitchen. To the point where some days I feel like I need to spend a year in yoga classes, but there are little things I can do to help me manage my Dyspraxia.

Who are you?

Who are you?

How would you answer this question?

For many years whenever someone asked me this, I would begin by listing my hobbies or things I liked.

“I’m Libby. I like coffee and hiking.”

OR

“I’m Libby. I love crystals, and watching anime.”

OR

“I’m Libby. I love exploring abandoned buildings and reading.”

It wasn’t until a friend told me, “That’s great! Though, all you told me was what you liked.”

Now, in the moment I probably looked at this friend like, “Man, you woke up on the wrong side of the bed”, and I probably also rolled my eyes in annoyance.

Looking back, this friend is right.

How, many times as Christians do we tell people, “Your sin and past mistakes don’t define you”, while simultaneously defining ourselves by our hobbies or clothes.

You see, we are still allowing ourselves to be defined by something. Whether that’s grades, fashion, our job, or a relationship.

As people we are constantly learning and growing, and thus our hobbies, fashion taste, and worldview are constantly changing.

While these things do have the power to describe us and provide people with the insight as to who we are, they don’t define us.

Who are you when nobody is around? Who are you underneath your hobbies and labels?

If you don’t know you who are or what you value in life, or even where your worth comes from, you will constantly be searching for your identity in hobbies, interests and even people and allowing those things to define you.

Know who you are underneath the labels.

Who are you?

A Letter to Those Hurt by Christians

To all those who have been hurt  by Christians,

I get why you don’t want to believe in God.
I get why you stopped believing in God.
I get why you may be weary to enter a church building.
I get why you may be weary to approach Christians.
I get it.
I really do.
I was there.

You’ve seen Christians on street corners who are screaming their heads off about people going to hell.
You’ve seen Christians turn a blind eye and “okay” some sins while calling out others for other sins.
You’ve seen Christians not even bothering to pray for others in their time of need.
You’ve seen Christians in church sit there texting and talking all throughout the sermon.
You’ve seen Christians in church act like a clique, not even bothering to greet the new people.
You’ve had Christians treat you and your salvation just like another, number to them that they will soon forget about.

I get it.
I’ve seen it all too.
For awhile it even made me want to leave the church, and I did for some time.

Here’s the thing though:
Christians aren’t Christ.

we are all sinners – in need of the grace and forgiveness of Christ. 

Christians mess up.
We aren’t perfect.
Sometimes, you’ll look at Christians and they may be reflecting Christ.
Sometimes, you’ll look at Christians and they won’t be reflecting Christ.

Are you following Christ or Christians?

We go on Twitter and see people tweeting great and inspirational tweets about Christ.
We go on Instagram and see people posting cool photos with the newest filters about an inspirational Bible story and something they’ve learned that day.
We see Christians outside of church and see them smoking, or drinking or cursing and think, “That must be okay”.

We start to compare ourselves to other christians and want to be, just like them. Forgetting though that they too are – sinners. Imperfect. We all fall short of the glory of God.

I’m sorry.
I’m sorry if you’ve been deeply hurt by a Christian.
I’m sorry if you’ve seen Christian after Christian be a bad witness.
I’m sorry if you’ve ever felt unwelcome in a church.
I’m sorry if you’ve ever been treated unfairly by a Christian.
I’m sorry.

God isn’t us though.
God doesn’t play favorites.
God doesn’t misrepresent himself.
God doesn’t mess up.
God doesn’t make mistakes.
God doesn’t say the wrong thing.
God never leaves or forsakes you.
God will never hurt you.
God will never be too busy to listen to your fears, hurts, cries, joy,etc.

We’re all “Works in Progress”

“I can’t wait until I lose this weight, I’ll be beautiful.”

“I’ll stop working as much, and spend more time with my family once I get this promotion”

“I need to study until I get accepted into Harvard, then I’ll hang out with my friends”

“I can’t stop! I need this to be absolutely perfect!”

We’ve all said something similar. We promise to love ourselves more once we aren’t a “work in progress”.

I used to. I told myself once I lost such and such weight, I would be beautiful. Guys were constantly shaming me and abusing me and making me feel less than perfect because I wasn’t their definition of “beautiful”. I’ve learned to love myself through the works in progress in my life.

Sometimes it’s hard for us to love the version of ourselves that’s still a work-in progress.

It’s easier for us to see the negative in ourselves and we have a habit of beating ourselves up. I’ve been there.

Without realizing, we are all actually works in progress. There’s always something to learn from and improve on. We aren’t perfect.

 

Love yourself where you are, friend.
There’s always something that we can improve on and always something to learn from.  If you’re waiting until you aren’t a “work in progress”, you’ll be waiting a lifetime to love yourself.

 

 

– Elizabeth Louise

So, you’re stuck in a period of waiting?

WaitingonGod

 

Sometimes following God requires periods of waiting.

For anyone waiting can be a struggle. Especially if you’re waiting for an answer to a prayer and you expect God to answer automatically; like a Genie in a bottle.
Maybe you’ve been through periods of waiting that last anywhere from a day to a week. Or maybe you’ve dealt with longer periods of waiting such as two weeks to two months. Maybe it’s been years of waiting and you’re still waiting.

I don’t know about you guys but I’m sometimes really awful at waiting. Heck, sometimes waiting in the line at the grocery store especially when it’s longer than usual is a struggle for me.

How many of you suck at waiting, too?

Before I begin I’m going to state something: God is not a genie in a bottle. He is not here to grant you every wish and desire for your life.

Sometimes in life we have to wait and waiting requires a great deal of patience.
Periods of waiting require holding steadfast to God and being open & available to God’s will.

After talking to God, we often have this idea that he’s going to answer our prayers right away, or at least hopefully within a few days. When God doesn’t answer our prayers right away we get frustrated and feel like He’s ignoring us. Continue to cling and hold steadfast to God during this time of waiting. Talk to Him, draw near to Him, and actively find ways to grow and serve God during this time.

Another helpful thing during periods of waiting is to make yourself available. How many times have you prayed for God to use you and then complained about what He wants to use you for? How many times have you asked God for a job and then when the opportunity came, you made no effort to get it? Believe and know that God is continually working on your behalf even during periods of waiting.

Sometimes maybe what you prayed about or what you want isn’t what God has in mind for your life. Be open and available to God saying, “No” or even to Him saying, “No, not  right now”.

I can’t even begin to count the number of times where I’ve been in periods of waiting and after awhile I’ve gotten so frustrated that I’ve either stopped clinging close to God because I’ve felt like He has totally abandoned me and forgotten me, and because of that I’ve stopped being open to His will and what His plans are for my life.

Whether the period of waiting you are in is only for a few days, weeks, months, or even years keep holding to God and allowing yourself to be open and available to His will for your life.